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Nigerian prelate laments attacks, pledges continued Catholic-Muslim dialogue

May 22, 2014

Twin bomb blasts have killed over 100 people in Jos, a city of 870,000 in central Nigeria. The Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out the attacks.

“Just two weeks ago, the Catholic Church launched its cathedral, and Muslim leaders were not only there, but actually made donations,” Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos told Leadership, an Abuja-based newspaper. “Because of the solidarity and the oneness that characterized the event we concluded that peace had finally returned to Jos. So this news is very disturbing, very retrogressive and quite sad.”

The prelate, who also serves as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, told the Fides news agency that “we are all worried, but dialogue continues, and we are in touch with Muslim leaders … We should not be intimidated, and we must continue our dialogue of peace.”

In a conversation with Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Kaigama said that the international community should act to restore order in Nigeria, since the country’s government has failed to curb the raids by Boko Haram. “While we appreciated what has been done recently, with so many coming together in solidarity with us….what we need to do is work together to find solutions,” he said—suggesting that moves to stop arms traffic would be a step in the right direction. The archbishop said that to date, the efforts of international organizations has amounted to “pouring water into a basket.”


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